This came over our transom this morning via Ellen Silverman: a poem by William Stafford that immediately enlivened our day. She was given it by the teacher of a photography workshop she is taking. It tunes the self to seeing, and being more fully here.
We printed it out to tape on our wall. You can too, using this PDF: William Stafford Poem Starting Now
You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift to the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life —
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?
One thought on “Starting Here, What Do You Want to Remember? (William Stafford)”
In this age of “do more, be more” this poem releases us to just be.